COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media on Thursday following fall camp practice No. 7. Day provided updates on injuries and the health of the team, defensive improvements, the strength of the offense, and areas of focus moving forward in fall camp.
Here are the highlights of what was said.
+ On the injuries and overall health of the team, Day said they’ve had a couple things come up but that’s normal for camp. He feels good overall.
+ The depth at corner is a top three concern for Day at this point. But none of the injuries at corner are long-term injuries.
+ The receivers are all competing. “We’ll have a good rotation of guys out there.” It has been a good first week for them.
+ On Cam Brown returning, Day said he’s still on a pitch count but hopefully he will be off of that soon. They want to make sure he’s healthy and is being brought back the right way.
+ There is no update from the NCAA on the eligibility of Parker Lewis. Day said he has not heard anything but hopes to find out soon.
+ Cam Martinez and Jantzen Dunn both have cover skills and have the skill set to play corner. “The more versatile and the more they can do, the more valuable they are to the defense.”
+ On Lathan Ransom recovering and showing up, Day said he had a very good summer and has shown up. His ability to recover and the work he put in with the trainers was impressive. They are keeping a close eye on him but he has been able to handle it and it says a lot about him.
+ On the strength of the defensive line, Day said he feels the presence of that group. There have been signs of tenacity, pad level, guys getting after it, nastiness, and that’s what they need. Depth and sustaining that over time will be key, but there have been signs that they can do it and that’s encouraging.
+ On Steele Chambers being more comfortable at linebacker, Day said there were highs and lows last year but what Chambers did last year says a lot about him as a person — his ability to throw himself into the fire, not being afraid to fail, and just go. “He now has the ability to be the best version of himself.”
+ On Sonny Styles so far in camp, Day said “for someone who’s supposed to be in high school right now, he’s darn good.” He has had opportunities to compete, he’s tough, and he has shown his ability to be coached.
+ Jim Knowles is excellent to work with and he is running the defense. The expectation was for him to come in and be the head coach of the defense. “He’s off to a good start.” The players feel the preparation, how well the scheme is put together, and that’s all been good.
+ On the offense, Day said there’s not one thing that keeps him up at night but “you gotta prove it day in and day out.” “Being able to run the ball, throw the ball, and have that balance is going to be very important.”
+ On how much fun Day is having coaching the veterans on offense, Day said it’s a different approach now. At first he was teaching them what to do and now he’s getting into how they do it and why they do it. “That is fun and it’s fun to be around guys that have experience, but they’re still working everyday to get better.”
+ On players taking advantage of their redshirt season, Day said Mike Hall Jr. worked hard last year to develop and has worked this preseason. The same thing with Evan Pryor. “Both of those players are really developing and in the end it’s going to really pay off for them.”
+ Cade Stover’s physicality is what Day notices the most about him. “For being a big guy he has great ball skills and he worked really hard this offseason on his route running.”
+ Xaiver Johnson has developed into a really good receiver. Day has been very impressed with him so far and credits that to his work on special teams.
+ On Justin Frye’s energy as a coach, Day said he played the position and played in the Big Ten, his dad was a coach, and he was brought up the right way. He connects well with the players. He has a wider approach than just the offensive line.
+ On Chip Trayanum’s speed and his transition to linebacker, Day said he wants really good athletes at linebacker. Steele Chambers had an impact last year and Trayanum has all the skills, he works hard, he’s respected, he plays tough, and is just getting more reps there.
+ On Emeka Egbuka’s dynamic skill set and his ability to make an impact, Day said he “just has to keep doing what he’s doing.” He’s intelligent, sharp, his work ethic is off the chart, his ball skills are really good. “If he just keeps putting days in front of days…he’s going to have a really good year.
+ This week is all about “each other.” After this week, they will check off some boxes fundamentally. As they approach next week, they will start to introduce more Notre Dame work. But right now the focus is on skills.